a couple of years ago

Variety in your workouts

Variety in your workouts

You know that old saying, ‘variety is the spice of life’? I tend to think that is true in most things. However it is especially true when it comes to working out. Adding a little variety in your workouts will get you more progress than most every thing else you could try.

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You see the human body is an amazing biological machine. It is designed to recover, heal, adapt, overcome to survive. That survival instinct, great at surviving, however not so great at allowing for progress. The body will get used to what you throw at it. If you are an avid runner, it will adapt. If you are a walker, biker, golfer or whatever else, it will get used to this activity, and grow to best accommodate that. So to get progress past where you already are, you must throw a curveball at your body. Add a little bit of variety in your workout. Variety= muscle confusion, and muscle confusion= progress!

Variety in your workouts

Few Techniques to try

So if you have a specific area that has plateaued, or maybe everything has been stagnant and not progressing here are some things to try to add a little spice and keep your muscles confused.

  • drop sets
  • pyramids
  • plyo bursts

Drop sets

Pick two or 3 sizes of weights. The heaviest being something that is difficult but not to difficult for you to complete 8-12 reps on an exercise, then drop that and move to a lighter weight, complete 8-12 reps again, then move to your lightest weight and complete another 8-12 reps. This is both a muscle building workout, and a toning workout. The first half of your set will work on building and as you continue on you will begin to tone. If this is not something you do very often, it will confuse the muscles and you will start to see some progress.


Much like the drop sets except you do twice as much and you will go up in weight then back down. Pick 3 weight sizes again. Let’s use the example of 15, 20, and 25. Say you are doing curls- 15’s to start do 8-12 reps, then to the 20’s 8-12 reps, 25’s 8-12 reps, back down to 20’s 8-12 reps, and finally 15’s 8-12 reps. Depending how much weight you choose and the amount of reps, but either way this one will burn by the end. plateau= busted!

Plyo bursts

Adding a plyo exercise into any workout can help shake things up  a bit. By plyo I mean plyometrics, it’s a fast and explosive movement. Like jump squats, box jumps, plyo push ups or medicine ball throws to name a few. So if you are working on chest and arms add a set of plyo push-ups into your workout, and they should burn. The burn is good, just like the military used to drill into our minds back in the day, “pain is weakness leaving the body”. The burn will be that variety that’s brings muscle confusion and with it progress.


So this week I will be adding some drop sets. Then the next week some plyo moves. Then maybe some pyramids after that. The point is to keep moving forward, to keep progressing. So even when the amazing human body thinks it’s got ‘this workout thing figured out’, I throw it a curveball and confuse my muscles all over again. Progress achieved.

This is just a few ways I try to keep variety in my workouts. What tricks do you like best? Comment, or share, we love to hear about your gym battles.

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